As the new year unfolds, it’s not just about resolutions and fresh starts.
For savvy digital marketers and webmasters, it’s also the perfect season for website reinvention.
But in the rush to modernize aesthetics and improve user experience, there’s a crucial element you can’t afford to overlook: link building.
Let’s dive into how you can weave link-building mastery into your website’s 2024 redesign.
1. Audit and Preserve Your Best Links
Before diving into a redesign, perform a thorough link audit.
You could use tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz to identify your most valuable links.
These are the connections you want to maintain post-redesign, ensuring you don’t lose the SEO juice that’s already fueling your site’s visibility.
2. Communicate Changes with Your Network
Changes during a redesign can affect your link partners.
Keep the communication lines open and inform them of any URL changes that you make.
It’s an excellent opportunity to reaffirm your relationships and even negotiate new link placements.
To discover who is linking to your website generally involves using specialized SEO tools. The following are some methods and tools that you can use to perform this task.
- Google Search Console: This is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site’s presence in Google Search results.
It provides information on who links to your website, the most linked content, and how your data is linked.
- Go to the “Links” section to see a list of external sites linking to your pages.
- It doesn’t show every single link, but it does show a large sample of them.
- Ahrefs: A well-known tool among SEO professionals, Ahrefs offers a comprehensive backlink checker that allows you to see the backlinks for any website or webpage.
- Use the “Site Explorer” feature to enter your domain and view the backlink profile for your entire website.
- It’s a paid tool, but it provides a vast amount of data and is excellent for detailed analysis.
- SEMrush: This is another popular tool for SEO and marketing professionals, and it also provides extensive backlink analysis.
- Their “Backlink Analytics” tool lets you enter a domain or specific URL to see all incoming links.
- SEMrush is a paid service but offers a trial period.
- Moz Link Explorer: Moz provides a tool where you can enter a URL or domain to get a complete link profile.
- They offer a free version with limited searches per month and more in-depth analysis with their paid version.
- They offer a free version with limited searches per month and more in-depth analysis with their paid version.
- Majestic: Known for its extensive link index, Majestic allows you to check the backlink profile for any site.
- It offers several metrics, including the number of backlinks, referring domains, and the context of those links.
For bulk analysis, these tools allow you to export the data, usually in CSV format, so you can work with large sets of backlink data in programs like Excel or Google Sheets.
3. Make Your Website Easy to Navigate to Gain Better Links
As you redesign, think about how your site’s structure can encourage attaining natural links.
A clear, intuitive navigation helps not just users but also content creators who want to link to your resources.
Remember, a link-friendly site is a user-friendly site, and search engines love link-friendly sites.
4. Create Link-Worthy Content
Redesigns are about more than just looks; they’re a content revamp opportunity.
Be sure that you invest in creating high-quality, authoritative content that others in your industry will want to reference.
This might be the year to publish that industry report or comprehensive guide that becomes a bookmarked resource or even a Featured Snippet.
When you move content on your website to a new location, you should use a 301 redirect to send visitors and search engines to the new URL instead of the old one.
Here’s why they are important:
- SEO Preservation: A 301 redirect helps preserve the search engine rankings for a page.
It signals to search engines that the page has moved permanently and transfers most of the search engine ranking power (link equity) to the new location. Without this, any established SEO value would be lost.
- User Experience: 301 redirects ensure that users who have bookmarked the old URL or clicked on an old link (from another site or within your own site) are automatically taken to the new URL.
This prevents user frustration that comes from encountering 404 error pages and ensures a smooth user experience.
- Link Utilization: Backlinks are a critical factor in a website’s search ranking.
A 301 redirect ensures that the backlink value is not wasted because it points the user and the search engine to the new page.
- Avoiding Content Duplication: If you’ve redesigned your site and the same content is published across multiple URLs, it can lead to what’s known as duplicate content issues.
In the case where the same content appears on several URLs, search engines like Google seek to provide unique search results and may consolidate ranking signals to a single, canonical version of your content.
This means that other instances of the content may not perform as well in search results.
By implementing 301 redirects or setting canonical tags, you can guide search engines to treat the content at its preferred location, thereby maintaining SEO integrity and a cohesive user experience.
Duplicate content, search engines might see two or more identical pages as an attempt at manipulation to increase search ranking. Redirecting eliminates duplication.
- Managing Site Architecture Changes: When you reorganize your site’s structure, it’s likely that URLs will change.
301 redirects are essential to redirect old URLs to the corresponding new ones, keeping the site’s navigation intact.
- Merging Websites: If you’re merging two websites or moving from one domain to another, 301 redirects allow you to do so without losing the SEO value of your existing content.
- Updating URLs: If you have to update URLs for a better SEO structure (like including keywords in the URL) or for any other reason, a 301 redirect from the old to the new URL keeps the page’s visibility and ranking intact.
It’s crucial to implement 301 redirects correctly to avoid multiple redirects which can slow down the site and create a poor user experience, as well as potential loss of ranking power due to improper implementation.
6. Update Your Links to Match Your Growing Brand
As your brand grows and changes, make sure that the websites linking to you keep up with your latest direction.
This helps to ensure that the links pointing to your site are still relevant and reflect what your brand stands for now.
7. Monitor, Adapt, and Grow
After the launch, monitor your links as part of your routine SEO checks.
If you’re using WordPress for your CMS, you may find it easier to use a broken link checker plugin.
To be able to check any website out for broken links, you could use the following online tools:
- Online Broken Link Checker: https://www.brokenlinkcheck.com/
- Free Broken Link Checker: https://www.deadlinkchecker.com/
- Adhrefs’ Broken Link Checker: https://ahrefs.com/broken-link-checker
- DNS Checker Broken Link Checker: https://dnschecker.org/website-broken-link-checker.php
And, Google’s very own Chrome browser offers an addon Broken Link Checker: https://chromewebstore.google.com/detail/broken-link-checker/dmfgbagojglecgaheiaggkhjemlfoclf
The digital world moves quickly, and what works today may not work tomorrow.
Stay adaptable, and be ready to grow and refine your strategy continuously.
A website redesign isn’t just a facelift.
It’s an opportunity to enhance every aspect of your online presence, including the critical role of link building.
13 Benefits for Redesigning Your Website
Redesigning a website can bring a multitude of benefits, ranging from improved user experience to better search engine rankings. Here are 13 benefits that a well-executed website redesign can provide:
1.) Improved User Experience (UX): Redesigning a website can lead to a cleaner, more intuitive interface, which makes it easier for visitors to navigate and find what they need quickly and efficiently.
2.) Increased Mobile Compatibility: With mobile traffic increasingly dominating the web, a redesign can ensure that your site is fully responsive and provides a seamless experience across all devices.
3.) Faster Load Times: A redesign can optimize the website’s performance by implementing faster load times, which is crucial for holding users’ attention and improving search engine rankings.
4.) Higher Conversion Rates: An updated, user-friendly site can effectively guide visitors to take action, whether that’s making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or contacting your business.
5.) Better SEO: Redesigning a website allows you the opportunity to refine the site’s structure, optimize content, and improve meta tags, all of which can contribute to better search engine ranking positions (SERPs).
6.) More Effective Branding: A redesign can help you align your website more closely with your brand identity, ensuring that your online presence accurately reflects your current brand message and values.
7.) Enhanced Security: Updating the website’s backend during a redesign can strengthen security measures and protect against vulnerabilities, a critical aspect as cyber threats continue to evolve.
8.) Improved Accessibility: A website redesign can address accessibility issues, making sure that your site is usable by people with disabilities, thus expanding your audience and complying with legal standards.
9.) Streamlined Content: Revamping your site gives you an opportunity to reevaluate and reorganize your content, making it more targeted and effective at communicating with your audience.
10) Updated Technology: It allows you to integrate the latest technological advancements, like artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots, or advanced analytics, to stay competitive.
11.) Social Sharing Features: Implementing modern social sharing features can enhance user engagement and increase visibility on social platforms.
12.) Better Analytics and Data Tracking: A redesign can involve the implementation of better analytics tools to more accurately track user behavior, which informs business decisions and marketing strategies.
13.) Future-Proofing: By incorporating current web standards and technologies, a redesign can make future updates easier and less costly, ensuring the site remains modern for a longer time.
Each of these benefits contributes to a more robust, efficient, and competitive online presence, which is essential in today’s digital marketplace.
By weaving these strategic link-building practices into your website’s redesign, you’re not merely refreshing its aesthetic—you’re:
- amplifying its functionality,
- enhancing its user experience, and
- reinforcing its infrastructure for the ever-evolving digital landscape.
This meticulous process not only strengthens each hyperlink leading to your domain but also enriches every facet of your online presence.
With every click, your potential customers should embark on a journey that mirrors the innovation and commitment of your brand.
From the seamless compatibility across devices to the improved loading times, your site’s transformation touches upon every aspect crucial for modern web standards—security, SEO, user engagement, and beyond.
As you pivot to your reimagined digital platform, you’re setting the stage for:
- higher conversion rates,
- a stronger brand identity, and
- a fortified position in search rankings.
In the coming year, ensure these links are strong, purposeful, and truly represent your brand’s values and story.
Here’s to a transformative year where your links extend beyond mere connections; they become conduits of your business’s passion and promise.
Are you ready to elevate your website into a link-building dynamo that’s not just in step with but leaps ahead of 2024’s digital demands?
Let’s talk about how your website’s redesign can become a pivotal cornerstone in your brand’s expansive and exciting growth story.